SDA Sabbath School Lesson

Monday November 18, 1996

What Membership Means

Eph. 5:25-27.

List three reasons why Christians should be part of God's church. Eph. 5:25-27; Phil. 1:16, 17; 1 John 1:7.

To be part of God's church is to be a member of His family, with all the privileges and responsibilities that accompany family relationships. Jesus adopts us as His children, not so we can have that privilege only for ourselves, but so we will tell others how they too can become members of His family.

The church is to be a gleaming temple in a dark world. Our light is not to emanate from resplendent buildings, but from members clothed in the radiant garments of Christ's righteousness.

As God's church, we are not to be showcases of the latest fads and fashions, but rather a benevolent society serving the world. Every aspect of our service is to be filled with soul-winning purpose, for humanity's greatest need is salvation.

How should church members relate to one another? Who benefits from such behavior besides the church itself. John 13:34, 35; Rom. 12:3-13 (compare 1 Cor. 12:12-27).

It is the exercise of Christlike love and mutual respect among church members that makes the gospel attractive and believable. In the goodness, mercy, justice, and love of God among church members, the world has a demonstration of Christ's character. Loving service to everyone, church members or not, is the compelling power of the church's witness and the secret of its success.

According to Christ's command, entrance into church membership is ratified by baptism (Matt. 28:19, 20). How does proper preparation for baptism affect each member's influence in the church? Acts 2:37-47; Rom. 6:3-22.

What did baptism do for you?